2015 Goals And Changes

2015 GOALS and CHANGES

I am still thinking about 2015. In my last blog regarding the subject, I wrote about no longer letting people take things from me: my time, my successes, my joys, etc.

But there are other things I have in mind too. Things that did not really seem to matter to me until I gave them some thought.

I have been thinking about the Border’s bookstores that went out of business. My local Border’s – despite it was what could be considered a “big-box retailer” – was my oasis; my get-away-from-it-all place. The atmosphere, the people who worked there, the whole place was special to me despite it was a Border’s. It had a small-business feel. It was located in a town where public transportation is virtually non-existent, so when I went there, I knew I would not be followed by my family of stalkers.

When it closed, I mourned for weeks. I was lost. I even cried. That’s how important that place was for me. There was just no place like the café there where they knew my name and what I liked to order most. I miss them all. Those jerks closed all Border’s stores and as far as I am concerned, they made a HUGE mistake. Like huge. Bigger than big.

So over the last couple of years, with no other place that could adapt to my needs or me to its atmosphere, I’ve been wandering lost. I cannot find a place with the ambiance that that particular store and café afforded me. I go out to a certain Barnes & Noble once in a while. The one that is closest to my home; however, it is farther than the old Border’s used to be. I don’t get there often enough to become a regular, and I certainly do not get the treatment and service I got at the Border’s that was in LaGrange, IL. That is the place so many story ideas came alive for me. It was a place of Ah-ha! moments. There was so much inspiration there. I loved being in the café at the winter holidays because the store was on a corner and the café overlooked the town square. The scene was so graceful and nostalgic with those large windows framing a view of holiday lights, snow, scurrying people, and the original train depot. It was like something out of a story book; like a Hallmark original Christmas movie.

Now here I am, always looking for that next nook to hide in. Then I thought, “Well, how about my small-town library?” I mean, sure, there’s no window views, or a café, but it’s nice and quiet and it needs business to keep going. I’ve made it a goal to check out more library books this year, and to actually use the quiet atmosphere as a place to hide away and write. I can bring my laptop and dive in. Even if I use it only a couple of weekend days per month, it’ll be more than I have in the past.

As far as checking out books to read or for research, I rarely do that either. I take it in spurts. Instead, I found myself wishing I had a Chicago Public Library card. Well, in truth, my local library can get whatever I might need in most cases. I guess the massive size of many Chicago branches is what really holds my interest. But my village library needs business too. The town I live in has a population of less than 12,500. I like it that way…I just wish it was further away from Chicago. So why in Hades do I want to go to Chicago? I hate it anyway. Blah! All they do there is rob people and murder one another.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I, or anyone other citizen of my town, cannot be murdered within the village limits, but we like our rose-colored glasses. I mean, between 2000 and 2012 there were only 3 murders: one in 2000, one in 2009, and again in 2011. I do not know the stats for 2013 -14. There has been a good deal of thefts, robberies, and car thefts. However, if we could look at the reports we’ll probably find that many of these were either committed by dumbass teens or people NOT from the village. They were committed by Chicagoans and creeps from suburbs that share garbage with Chicago, suburbs like Burbank and Oak Lawn. Maybe Bridgeview.

Anyway, I can still walk my dog here after the sun goes down without calling for a police escort and sending out homing pigeons to check for creepy people.

Oh, I really got off topic, right? I guess I just wanted to paint a picture of a small-town library that needs its business. I try to use our local businesses, but we don’t have many. I try often to utilize small businesses instead of big-box retailers when I can, and I’ll even drive to other ‘burbs to go to these places. Sometimes you will even find me in Chicago once in a blue moon. I find, though, that these are specialty shops where I find essentials that big retailers do not dare to sell. And that’s okay with me.

Since my town’s library is small and runs on a strict operating budget, I have decided to be a better patron. I usually donate to them books I’ve read, especially the nice hardcover books. Evens so, a few times this past summer I found myself selling them at the used bookstore. I will not do that this year. While I enjoy shopping at the used bookstore, I think I’ll stick to buying instead of selling in 2015.

In addition to my goals to be a better library user, and to better frequent small businesses, and of course, to not let people steal my thunder, most of my goals for 2015 revolve around writing.

The only resolution I made for 2015 is to be a writer. Yes, I said a WRITER. Even this resolution must be completed in small steps and goals to be accomplished. I am very tired of the term “writer’s block.” I use that term sometimes. Others use it. I’m not sure that every time I can’t finished something, or come up with a new idea, or a twist, spin, climax, or a new character I should call it writer’s block. Therefore, I am nixing that term from my vocabulary for 2015. Let’s see if it helps me any where progress is concerned.

Truly, I think writer’s block is the easy way out. A way for us to avoid questions like: Are you writing a new book? How’s that new book coming along? Did you finish writing that book? How’s that new character working out? Did you do that research on Three Stooges you talked about a few months back? Have you worked out your new writing schedule? Is Mary Poppins still singing to you during your showers? Is IT and Stephen King still invading your nightmares? Does Scooby-Doo still dance in a tutu behind your eyelids while you meditate? What color is this character’s eyes; is he a cowboy who rides a camel? You said a camel, right?

You get the picture. So, no more writer’s block. If anyone on WordPress, Facebook, or Twitter, etc., sees me write the term writer’s block in regards to myself, or hears me speak it…please remind me that there’s no such term (according to me).

On top of all that, I have other goals – actually, there is a resolution, but a big one that must be met through baby steps and one goal at a time. This is why so many resolutions fail. We attempt to meet the resolution in the first couple of months, if not the first couple of weeks. For example, we cannot come off of the winter holidays – Thanksgiving, Yule, Christmas and New Year’s – and expect to lose 50 pounds by February 14. It won’t happen. And so it goes with many resolutions. You must make small goals to reach that 50. Try 5 or 10 pounds first. Even if you lose only 15 pounds by the end of December 2015, you did not fail at the entire resolution, so do not give up. You will still be healthier than you were on December 31, 2014.

For me, my most important goal resolves around my spirituality. I intend on finding it again. It’s going to take most of the year. I’m on a journey. I assure you, I have to do this.

My next goal is health related. Not necessarily weight-loss related, but it might turn out to be a plus. Some of you may recall (especially my Facebook friends) that I’ve talked about some health problems I acquired during the last couple of years. So my health goals revolve around that. I’ve never been one to challenge a healthcare professional’s best advice. I know they are correct and that I have to do what it takes to keep my colon in shape. Colons cannot be replaced yet. Not like livers, kidneys, hearts and the like. It’s one of those if-you-abuse-it-you’ll-lose-it organs.

So my goals regarding health are to walk more, eat more veggies and avoid things I know damned well make me sick. No more ground beef! The infections are going to plague me regardless, and the hospital is unavoidable, but I can do things to lower the impact, soften the blow and slow things down.

I heard on the news a couple of days back that they…whoever THEY are…may have found a cure for colon infections. I pray for it. If you’ve never had an episode of Diverticulitis, where you vomit so hard that you are sure your colon has moved into your stomach, and your vision goes black except for those stars – one in each eye – right before you lose your senses and fall over between the toilet and the sink and get stuck – most cannot imagine. Yep. That’s me.

So I must, for my own good, make some healthcare goals.

I read Scorpio’s horoscope for 2015. It looks good. I find that it relates to some of my goals, some I’ve mentioned here and a few I’ll keep to myself.

I hope that you are having a great 2015 so far. Remember, junk those resolutions, or set GOALS to accomplish them. You might find it more helpful in accomplishing ideas and hopes.

Thanks for reading!

Rain Falling

Cat rainy day

 

RAIN FALLING

(From my journal entry of Tuesday, 10/14/14.) Most is from a journal entry, with added passages.

**
Rain falling steady
Warm air fighting Fall’s music
Autumn hums a chilling tune
**

Last week and this week is sure offering up some suspicious-acting weather. Some call it Indian Summer. It usually arrives in October of every year here. It can last 3-7 days. This one seems to be lasting seriously longer.

It did this crap last year, and it was an awful winter. 2013 ended rough, and 2014 began shitty. But, horses run. Fast. And thankfully the tides changed for me in some areas of my life. I’m glad of that even as some things stayed the same – good or bad. A thing or two got worse, a thing or so go better, but there were a few things that did not change at all.

Anyway – my handwriting is as shitty as it’s always been. I’ve been trying to work on my handwriting. Why am even mentioning my handwriting (in the WordPress version of this blog) I have no idea. I’m rambling.

Anyway, I have so many projects on the table – maybe too many – that I cannot accomplish even one. I have no idea what’s gotten into me… Or maybe, out of me. I’m gridlocked. I feel like I’m sitting in my car, stuck in a deep snowdrift, my wheels spinning as I watch the gas tank run dry.

I just paid an editor – who did fine work, by the way – to edit a book. I’ve mentioned it here before, Storm Dwellers. Well, I wanted to make changes to it. Some of these changes will take thinking and time. Therefore, I knew I would not make a near-Halloween release date. And, I was totally okay with that. Then all heck broke loose and I fell ill, and then Mom fell ill, then all sorts of craziness occurred.

Okay, back to Storm Dwellers. I received the edits back from the editor. I was all gung-ho to get this done, so she could take a look at the finished product. Deep down I knew that I would not be making a release for this Halloween. But then, I’d rather have a solid story than a Halloween release date. And if I really want an October date, I have all year to work on this story. It makes no difference to me and I’m sure it makes no difference to the editor. Time is what we have.

So, at first I thought I’d just lost interest in the story, but I knew better. And, believe it or not, I had no interest in writing anything at all! And I’d say out loud, “I don’t care! I hate writing. I don’t have to write.” In truth, I absolutely have to write.

It is not like I was working like made or anything before I got this bug. I don’t feel it is what’s referred to as “writer’s block.” It’s something else. What, I have no clue.

It is probably the reason I started this hand-written journal. To see if I can work out the bugs. I’ve gotten great advice on how to… or well, writers have shared ways they’ve overcome such obstacles in their past; they’ve offered exercises to help.

*shaking head*

What the hell is wrong? Editor returned Storm Dwellers. Something I worked hard on. I stopped dead. I have other manuscripts in the works. One I have 200+ pages. Stopped. I can make a list, but why bore you with my failures? Okay, I was told to not call them failures. So here goes…

I have newly started novels, some containing only a few chapters, some a few pages, some finished halfway, and still other stuck in limbo riding on their notes:
-The Devil Plays Dice (sequel to Someday Always Comes)
-Angel Maker
-Cop Lover (book 2 in a series after Angel Maker)
-The Adam Conspiracy
-The Gem of Crystal Beach
-Blood’s Immortal
-The Ghosts of Willow Marsh

Of course, the finished Storm Dwellers with a fresh return from the editor. Oh and a book of poetry I have work for.

And this list doesn’t end there – those are just the most notable. I was blessed with a Muse that never sleeps. Until now! My writing drove me crazy, often to the point a thought would cross my mind and the words would come out of my mouth. I had no control.

Here is the fact, and I’d like to share this because many people suffer with physical or psychological afflictions, or will at some point, especially as we age. We writers are not immune. In fact, it’s guaranteed that we will get some malady because we’re tagged. How else can we write? We have to be sad, angry, happy, crazy, or sick with something chronic and annoying but not always fatal. Often we are alcoholics, chain smokers or coffee addicts. Just to name a few things. I am no different. I find that I am not always sane, but in a good way. I think. But I’ve always had digestive issues, since I was about 30. It started innocently with GERD, gastric reflux disease. Then with an esophageal sphincter that doesn’t operate properly. Now it’s escalated to esophageal spasms, diverticulosis, diverticulitis, constipation, IBS, and now they’re going back in, in November, to recheck my stomach. Nice. So, I can’t eat, I vomit, stay nauseous. Check this and that for blood. Oh, yes there’s a whole list of gross stuff I can type here, but I’ll spare you the details. I spend quite a bit of time at the doctor’s office begging for mercy or lying in a hospital emergency department because they are the only ones that can stop the vomiting and pain and rehydrate at a high rate of speed.

My stomach and colon like to wreak havoc on my life, causing irritability and exhaustion. Which in turn causes depression. I cannot always sleep. Up, down, up down, every couple of hours. It gets on my nerves. I have to watch this food and that, and every day I find something else I cannot eat or drink, or something I should eat or drink. I found that too much dairy products are not good for the colon since they coat the colon and keep the good from attacking the bad. These bacteria cannot stay attached to the colon wall. This is the newest news. Guess I should not have eaten all that ice cream this summer. I have to take fiber, yogurt, probiotics, and this, that and the other! But I cannot have this, this and this.

I’m losing weight. Not a bad thing. But it’s due to the illness and my inability to eat larger meals. So anyway, I have to graze all day to avoid a full stomach. I find that doughnuts and light pastries are just what the doctor did not order, but at least they don’t make me sick.

I have been debating asking the doctor for sleeping pills. I hate them though. But I just want to sleep all night. Or maybe for like 5 hours straight for even one night. Just one night, that’s all I ask.

Oh forget it.

I miss Dr. Thomas. My prior doctor. She was so sympathetic and understanding. Seriously, June was a year that she’s been gone.  Nothing I can do.

Maybe I need a vacation. Even a 2-3 day retreat. I’d love to hear the sound of the ocean again. The real ocean, not the ones on those CDs. Just for a few hours. Maybe next year.

I miss the Texas sky. Dark blue during the day, purple at night. Maybe I can go to Texas next year and sky worship for a few days. Maybe go to the coast. Maybe not come back to this place. Maybe stay at home.

*Please note, of course, I did find out after this journal entry that it’s this medication I take for esophageal spasms causing so much mind blockage!…A medication that I am (was) on for a physical illness may actually be causing mental fatigue and disinterest in my own writing, like depression. Holy shit! See? You just never know. Anyway, as many of us know about medications, often they are two-faced. Making you feel better in one way, as they are destroying some other part of you. To hell with medicines! This is getting on my nerves.A medication I desperately need and there is only about one other med I can take because the others are some sort of blood pressure meds used in small doses, and they do not want to give me that, because despite I want to kill people often, my blood pressure is the only thing that stays normal, except when I want to set fire to things and throw stuff! 😉  I suspected that the medication was beginning to cause this, though it’s rare for the low dosage to cause any emotional changes, the doctor said. She said if it does, it should not be noticeable. Well, the last time I got sick, I could not take this med for a few days and I saw the difference but thought…”Hey, I need this,” and chalked it up to my imagination. Now I’ve fallen ill again and had to stop taking meds by mouth again…low and behold, the mind fog lifted yet again. So I guess, back to the doctor to find something new. Or I’ll have to seek out something holistic. That is if there is anything.*

Now, as for Storm Dwellers, I will have to work on this slowly to get it where I want it. In the meantime, since this medicine that’s caused me so many issues behind my back, is now leaving my system, I have had another story idea, which I posted about on Facebook as well as a short blurb here on WP a couple days back. It’s tentatively titled, Chicago Down. We’ll see how that works out as my senses come back to me.

 

Thanks for visiting my blog. And, be sure to check each day this week, I have blogs planned for each day. Happy reading!

No One Brings Me Flowers

Flowers on grave

 

NO ONE BRINGS ME FLOWERS

(My journal entry from Friday, 10/10/14.)

I won’t let you kill me. I won’t!

That is the first thought that I had this morning. I mean, the first recognized, hard thought.

What sucks is, I am talking to my colon. To myself. Yes, it sucks.

It’s a long story. I suppose that someday the silly thing will end me. But in the meantime, I must fight it.

It is my colon. Why is the thing so mean to me? I mean, I do not drink any measurable amount of alcohol. A drink or two over the winter holidays does it for me. I do not smoke, don’t do drugs – never was one for that. I changed my eating habits way back at like 29 years of age. And they’ve progressed slowly over the years to become even better. What the hell. Once, I went a whole year without any soda. I haven’t eaten a McDonald’s hamburger-anything in 16+ months.

Still, the bitch is trying to kill to drive me crazy.

Maybe I should not call it a bitch. I wonder if it knows what I am thinking. I mean, who knows what the other 90% of our brain is really doing. I would think it could heal. Maybe kill. Maybe both.

I don’t want my colon to kill me down the road. Maybe there’s not much we can do to stop such things from happening. Maybe we can only follow precautions that will slow what may be the inevitable.

Anyway, on October 31st, I will turn 45. I’m pretty sure I was 30 only a few days ago.

I think it’s my environment that has made me sick. Most everyone who knows me personally knows how I feel about where I live. I’ve been stressed and upset for so long now that any good that enters my life now may not be enough to save me.

Save me. No one can do that. Not even the doctors. I’ve asked doctors, nurses and other health professionals what to do. How to make my colon tame again and normal? There’s not much. Same old advise. I’ll have to find another way.

I know there are many others our there sicker than I. I try not to complain. But like an emergency room nurse said to me, “This is yours.” Yes, it’s mine.

It’s mine, and one day in the not too distant future I’ll have no one at all to share it with. No one to come with me to the emergency room. Or to stand outside the bathroom door while I vomit until I see stars. I don’t what I’ll do then.

The Gods never saw fit to send me a gem. I know I’m hard to please, picky, stubborn… But at some point in my life, there had to have been someone…strong enough.

Well, it does not matter now. I’m sure he’s long gone. I just hope he didn’t end up as lonely I have been.

As for everything else… After my Ganymede left for the Rainbow Bridge back in February, I’ve been sort of down. Oh, yes, there have been highs and lows, but now, some days are a struggle to get through. I don’t want to be sad. It’s not good for my colon, and the Diverticulolis. It can egg on Diverticulitis. This is a fact.

Where’s my knight in shining armor? When will someone bring me flowers? When I’m dead? Since Dad died, no one brings me flowers anymore.